The best cut-by-cut instructions

Forewarning: Think carefully before you use the scissors yourself! It takes a long time to let a bad haircut grow out. Certainly longer than waiting for a haircut appointment or saving money. Okay, you probably don’t want to read this, otherwise you wouldn’t have ended up here. And you’re here for a reason. Because even if the toenails of the hairdressers among you roll up now: There are some good reasons to cut your own hair!

There’s the money, for one thing. On the other hand, there is the difficulty of finding a hairdresser who understands exactly what you want and really only cuts as much as you want. Surely you have asked for “only the tips” and then walked out of the shop with a 5 cm shorter mat, right? Annoying. And when you have finally found a Figaro that does a good job, you usually have to wait weeks for an appointment outside of your own working hours.

Who, please, can make it to the hairdresser’s at 11 a.m. on Wednesdays?

So if you want your hair to come off right now and you don’t want it to cost a lot of money, you’ve come to the right place! We tell you what you need to consider when cutting your hair at home, what equipment you need and have put together simple cutting instructions for you.

What do I have to pay attention to when I cut my own hair?

It’s very important to remember that hair looks longer when wet – because curls and waves hang out and even straight hair will snuggle flat against the roots when wet. You should also not pull too hard on the strands. The hair will jump up again afterwards, and the fringe will suddenly be shorter than expected. Oops!


It is also important to separate the hair well so that you do not accidentally end up with a strand of hair that should not be cut at all. You should never cut horizontally. It is much better to hold the scissors vertically into the hair and cut strand by strand. This takes longer. But it prevents unsightly cutting edges and uneven corners in the hair.

Should I cut my hair wet or dry?

Wet cutting always looks professional. In fact, many good hairdressers prefer to cut their hair dry in some cases. So it says nothing about the quality of the cut whether the hair is cut wet or dry. Which cutting technique is the right one depends on your hair structure. That is, whether your hair is rather straight or curly.

  • It is best to cut straight hair wet – the moisture will cause the last creases to hang out and you can make sure that in the end all hairs are really the same length and that you do not accidentally take away too much or too little in one place. Small reminder: Remember that the hair now looks longer than it actually is. So rather cut off too little than too much, blow-dry briefly, check and otherwise wet and touch up again.
  • Curls are best cut dry. So you can see exactly how the hair will fall later. With curls, the hair is much, much longer when wet and you don’t know exactly how much you have to cut off to make it look good when dry.

Which scissors do I need for haircutting?

A good pair of scissors is essential. But you don’t have to invest in the 200-euro model from the hairdressing supplies section – yes, really good scissors really do cost that much – there are also special hair scissors available at the chemist’s and online that are sufficient for home use. With 10-20 Euros you are still cheaper than for a haircut. What’s more: these things last forever and will certainly be used more often.

“Extra sharp hair scissors for 15 Euro at

Under no circumstances should you cut your hair with kitchen scissors (much too large) or craft scissors (much too dull). Then coarse cut edges and broken hair are pre-programmed than before.

When would I go to the barber’s after all?

You probably don’t want to read this now, but: not without reason do hairdressers do a 3-year professional training. Complicated short haircuts or a brisk layered cut? It’s a mess at home. But if all you want to do is cut the broken ends or keep the annoying fringe out of sight, you can also do it yourself.

But think really carefully about whether you are ready to do the do-it-yourself experiment. If you couldn’t really cut it out so neatly in primary school art lessons, you might want to leave it alone. Got it all figured out and have the accessories at hand? Then’s ready to go. Here are our hair cutting instructions for at home:

Cut long straight hair straight to one length

Before you cut off all hair, you should know that even hair that is supposed to have been cut straight is never cut to one length at the hairdresser. The front strand is always a little shorter than the back strand, so the mane falls more beautifully when you put hair forward over the shoulders. If all hairs were on one length, this would look funny. So your goal should be to cut a U-shape or a slight curve into the tips – like in the picture above. This works best that way:

  1. Wash the hair and squeeze it out with a towel.
  2. Comb the damp strands thoroughly.
  3. Pull a middle parting up to the neck.
  4. Place both halves of the hair forward over the shoulder.
  5. Start with one half: Clamp a narrow strand between the index and middle finger. Pull the strand taut and position your fingers just above the point where you want to cut the tips. Anything protruding below will come off immediately.
  6. Cut off the hair under the fingers.

    Hold the scissors at a slight angle so that the tip points upwards towards the fingers. Cut small mini-spikes into the hair. Don’t worry, you won’t see them later. It is much more likely to produce edges if you cut everything bluntly to a supposedly uniform length.

  7. This is how you proceed strand by strand. The first section serves as a guide for the later length. Check in between by repeatedly combing through the tips of the hair.
  8. Align the second half of the hair.

    Patterns on the clothing can help. So it is best to wear a striped shirt. Then both sides are guaranteed to have the same length later.

How to get long hair quickly

Cutting split, broken hair tips yourself

The longer your hair is, the more it tends to split. This is because the ends have already been blow-dried, dyed and sunbathed many times – and will eventually split as a result of these strains. The tricky thing is that if you don’t cut split ends, they will continue to move up, before the hair is so damaged that they all have to be shortened to chin length. To avoid this, you should cut split ends regularly, about every 4-6 weeks.

You don’t have to cut all your hair for this and you don’t have to go to the hairdresser. This is how a split end cut works at home:

  1. Cut a narrow strand about 5 cm wide in dry hair.
  2. Twirl the hair completely.
  3. Hold the twirl plait against the light.
  4. What sticks out now are the broken tips. Because they are stiffer than healthy, soft hair tips that can be twisted in effortlessly.
  5. Cap the protruding hairs exactly at the point where they come out of the braid.
  6. Use the same technique to work through the whole mop of hair in strands. Yes, it’s tedious – but saves you many centimetres in the long run.

The best care tips for broken hair

How to cut your own pony

The basic rule is: If you do not yet have a pony, but absolutely want to wear fringes on your forehead, you should go to the hairdresser the first time. The professional can determine the ideal width, thickness and length of the pony for your face shape and hair structure. If you are already a pony wearer, even recutting is no problem with the right technique. So goes’s:

  1. Safety first: Tie a ponytail so you don’t accidentally trim the surrounding hair.
  2. Style the bangs the way you usually wear them.
  3. Determine a reference point for the later length. This can be the eyelid, the eyebrow or the lash line.
  4. Start in the middle of the pony.
  5. Clamp a fine strand of hair between your index and middle finger without applying tension to the hair. Pull the hair, it looks longer than you are and you tend to cut too much.

  6. Now’s serious: Hold the scissors vertically and cut the strand by snipping it several times. This way you will not get a blunt cutting edge later.
  7. Work your way towards the sides, always keeping your reference point and the strands you have already cut in mind.
  8. Tip: It helps to take a step back in between and to control the intermediate state with some distance. This helps you to recognize unevenness better. Everything good? Then back to the mirror.

Cut curls yourself

Curly hair – as already mentioned – is best cut dry. Only then can you see how the hair curls. For a completely new cut you should definitely go to the hairdresser. If you just want to get rid of the broken tips, you can do it at home and do it like this:

  1. Do not brush your curls before cutting. This will loosen the curl structure and you will not be able to see how the hair actually falls.
  2. Divide the top coat above the ears and pin it loosely.
  3. Take a good look at the open hair. Are you a little shorter in front than behind? Great, then you can stick to the basic shape and cut only the broken ends. Otherwise, it should be your line to cut just this slight curve in the hair.
  4. Grab curl by curl and hold the strand in the light.

  5. Broken is the part from which the strand no longer curls beautifully, but appears undefined and frizzy. This is exactly the part you should cut off.
  6. Prepare strand by strand and check it again and again in the mirror.
  7. When you are finished with the bottom layer, open the top hair.
  8. Use the same cutting technique.
  9. Tip: If the hair becomes a little bit shorter towards the top, the curls will later fall particularly voluminously.

To care for your curls at their best

If you do not want to have a completely new hairstyle, you can also cut your hair at home. You now know what you need for this and how to proceed. And always remember: It’s better to cut too little at first than to get cocky right away – then you won’t regret anything.